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research-article

WHEN THEATRE COMES TO ENGINEERING DESIGN: OH HOW CREATIVE THEY CAN BE?

[+] Author and Article Information
Ferris M. Pfeiffer

10 Hickory Grove Boonville, MO 65233
pfeifferf@health.missouri.edu

Rachel Bauer

-- Woolwich Twp, NJ 08085
rachelbauer@mail.missouri.edu

Steve Borgelt

254 Ag Engineering Columbia, MO 65211
BorgeltS@missouri.edu

Suzanne Burgoyne

129 Fine Arts Building Columbia, MO 65211
BurgoyneS@missouri.edu

Sheila Grant

250 Ag Engineering Columbia, MO 65211
grantsa@missouri.edu

Heather Hunt

263 Ag Engineering Columbia, MO 65211
hunthk@missouri.edu

Jennie Pardoe

2300 Chapel Hill Columbia, MO 65203
jjpwwc@mail.missouri.edu

David Schmidt

W1014 Laferre Hall Columbia, MO 65211
schmidtdc@umsystem.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036793 History: Received December 05, 2016; Revised May 16, 2017

Abstract

The creative process is fun, complex, and sometimes frustrating, but it is critical to the future of our nation and progress in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, as well as other fields. Thus, we set out to see if implementing methods of active learning typical to the theatre department could impact the creativity of senior capstone design students in the Bioengineering department. Senior Bioengineering capstone design students were allowed to self-select into groups. Prior to the beginning of coursework, all students completed a validated survey measuring engineering design self-efficacy. The control and experimental groups both received standard instruction, but in addition the experimental group received one hour per week of creativity training developed by a theatre professor. Following the semester, the students again completed the self-efficacy survey. The surveys were examined to identify differences in the initial and final self-efficacy in the experimental and control groups over the course of the semester. An analysis of variance was used to compare the experimental and control groups with p<0.05 considered significant. Students in the experimental group reported more than a two-fold (4.8 (C) vs 10.9 (E)) increase of confidence. Additionally, students in the experimental group were more motivated and less anxious when engaging in engineering design following the semester of creativity instruction. The results of this pilot study indicate there is significant potential to improve engineering students’ creative self-efficacy through the implementation of a “curriculum of creativity” which is developed using theatre methods.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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